Gov’t keen on ensuring GPL’s grid stability – VP Jagdeo

With the power ship supplying 36 megawatts of electricity to the national grid and the Gas to Energy project set to come on stream in 2025, adding approximately 300 megawatts of energy, the government is keen on ensuring that the national grid is fortified to manage the surge of electricity that will be utilised to meet the heightened demand.

This is according to Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who was speaking at a press conference at the Office of the President on Thursday.

Vice President, Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

The vice president said, “We have to look at the existing system [to ensure] that with all that new power now, we have grid stability to transmit and distribute the power.”

At a recent press conference, Dr Jagdeo disclosed that the government may be looking to acquire an additional 30 megawatts of power to support generation efforts.

However, he explained that while this plan is still on the cards, the government is placing focus on ensuring that the existing system is able to manage this additional power. 

To this effect, the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) has extended tenders for works totalling approximately $200 million to upgrade the grid.

This is expected to promote a more stable distribution system.

“Even if you have more power, if, in your area, they don’t have adequate transformers, etc, you would have blackouts in these areas. So, they are doing that, and now we have to transmit large amounts of power to Berbice…and we are now looking at taking a new transmission main up to Berbice,” Dr Jagdeo explained.

He further added, “If we can integrate the 30 megawatts…we could have brought in the bigger Powership, which is nearly 80 megawatts of power, and connect it here at Kingston, but the lines can’t transmit it, so we had to take it to Berbice and hook it there, and then bring back the power to Demerara.”

He added that a $5 million contract has been awarded for upgrades to transmission lines from Kingston to Sophia.

According to the Vice President, once these works are completed, the government will look to bring additional power to these substations. 

For Linden, the government is contemplating eventually placing a transmission main there to power the Soesdyke/Linden highway area. 

With reference to the gas-to-energy project, the vice president added, “We are exploring using some of the gas to move turbines into Bartica, Essequibo Coast, Lethem and Linden.”

The vice president emphasised that the government is still examining the technical feasibility of this move. 

In April, the government, through GPL, signed a multi-million-dollar contract with Urbacon Concessions Investments, W.L.L (UCI), a subsidiary of UCC Holdings in Qatar, in collaboration with Karpowership International to rent the ship for two years.

The floating power plant arrived in Georgetown in May and was docked at Everton, East Bank Berbice in Region Six, and eventually connected to the Demerara-Berbice Interconnected System (DBIS).

The government procured the energy vessel to bring relief to citizens since there has been an increase in electricity demand, which led to shortfalls and constant power outages across the country.

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